Challenging Patient Encounters 

Video length: 35 minutes


Phlebotomists are a crucial part of the health care team. We see patients on their best and worst days and in various situations. Hospital rooms, outpatient clinics, private homes, and nursing facilities all present unique challenges to phlebotomists. Patients are often courteous and kind to health care personnel. However, unexpected situations can arise, and phlebotomists need to be empowered to deal with challenging patients. Utilizing specific communication methods and other tools allows for safe collections in almost any situation. This “Phlebotomy Webinar” will discuss real-world examples of patient behavior deemed unsafe and/or disrespectful and the best practices for resolution. 


Diane Heinz, PBT(ASCP)

Outpatient Lab Service Lead
Laboratory Services
Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota

Learning objectives

Upon completion of this activity, participants should be able to:

  • Assess environmental and health issues that can lead to challenging patient behavior.
  • Recognize when patient behavior should be reported.
  • Identify communication techniques to de-escalate stressful patient interactions.

Intended audience

This series is appropriate for phlebotomists, phlebotomy managers, phlebotomy educators, and other patient care staff involved in specimen collection.


The following types of credit are offered for this event:


Mayo Clinic Laboratories is approved as a provider of continuing education programs in the Clinical Laboratory Sciences by the ASCLS P.A.C.E.® program. This program has been approved for a maximum of .5 P.A.C.E.® contact hour.

To obtain credit

1. Watch the video.

2. Complete the posttest and evaluation that launches immediately following the video.

3. Generate and print your certificate(s).

Level of instruction for this program is basic.

Credit for this recording expires on May 17, 2025

Faculty disclosure

Course director(s), planning committee, faculty, and all others who are in a position to control the content of this educational activity are required to disclose all relevant financial relationships with any commercial interest related to the subject matter of the educational activity. Safeguards against commercial bias have been put in place. Faculty members also will disclose any off-label and/or investigational use of pharmaceuticals or instruments discussed in their presentations. Disclosure of this information will be published in course materials so those participants in the activity may formulate their own judgments regarding the presentations.


Contact us:

MCL Education

This post was developed by our Education and Technical Publications Team.